Sunday, August 1, 2010

Mystery Trip - Part I - Hot Air Ballooning

BFF and I took off on a trip to Pennsylvania on Wednesday.  She really needed a break and is changing jobs, so we had a small window of opportunity.  She wasn't up for planning, so I got to provide a "mystery agenda".  You might think this is no big deal, but BFF and I are both Libra's, which means we can't ever make up our minds!  Always weighing things out.  Libra is the Scales, don't you know.  But I managed to come up with something, after a suggestion from Hubby.  She didn't know where we were going until about an hour before we arrived.  She is a trusting BFF, isn't she?  I have been a few times before, so I knew what good things to do there but she had never been.  I told her Husband, where we were going, and he ordered a list of things.  Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie, Shoo-Fly Pie, and an Amish Jenga game. I said Whoopie and he said OK.  When she got home with his Whoopie Pies, he said, what is this, I never heard of these before.    I am sure he must have thought I was losing my mind or hitting on him, one or the other, or both.
We went on a Hot Air Balloon Ride.  It was pretty spectacular. You don't have a sense of motion when you are up there, because you are moving at the same speed as the air.  It was HOT up there.  They recommended you bring a hat and thank goodness we did, because every time he blasted that propane sweat would start dripping off of you and it was crazy hot.  I am sure we would be bald if we hadn't have had the hats. So up we go, Susan and me, and another two people.  One was the Mother and the Daughter was celebrating her 21st birthday, and our Pilot. They blew the balloon up with two industrial fans, and you carry propane tanks inside with you.  We floated along over Amish farms and fields and you could see all the perfectly square corn, tobacco and soy bean fields.  The hues of green varyings.  We could see the cows and goats and dogs, and when we got low enough they would see us and look up.  The dogs would bark and chase us, and the cows and horses would look up. One big bull was checking us out and he just RAN out of the blue and got his whole little herd moving and they went into the barn.  I saw a German Shepherd that reminded me of my Beau, and he barked and ran, chasing us.  And we saw lots of Amish people, who all stopped and waved.  Two ladies were barefoot and they both came out and waved. I could hear small children giggling.  The men waved too.  It was pretty amazing to see how neat and tidy all of their houses where, the outsides and the fronts, Rows and rows of flowers planted, everything just seemed so peaceful and serene and surreal.
When we took off, it didn't occur to me that we had to land.  And that landing wasn't planned.  You just land where you can.  The pacer car is down below and we can see it at times following us from the ground.   They communicate with the Pilot via walky talkys. So we are looking for a spot to land and we clipped a tree, and missed out spot, so then we find another one.  Basically you land in other people's back yards.  Well we didn't do too bad, but we had to crouch down and he said we were going to tip over, but we didn't.  Some Amish girls on bikes had followed us for awhile as did their Mom, and an Amish boy had followed us for miles.  They were very curious to see the landing, and I guess I would have been too, if I had seen it from the ground.  Susan and I had skinned up knees but nothing too bad.  When we got back to our launch site, we had a champagne, cheese and crackers, and our pilot gave the toast:

The winds have welcomed you with softness

The sun has blessed you with its warm hands
You have flown so high and so well
That God has joined you in your laughter (HA-HA)
and set you gently back into the loving arms of mother earth.